Yes, sir, we'll fix it right away, sir!

While surfing the web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we found a database of consumer complaints lodged against various automakers. What follows is a sample of actual complaints made to the federal government! (The comments are our own.) If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself!

The first batch was found in a search of 1990 - 1997 Mazda Miata complaints.

SEAT BELTS LOCK UP WHEN RPM'S INCREASE, PINNING OCCUPANT TO SEAT.

Yeah, right. What'd he do, run up the gears, and instead of throwing it into 5th, jammed it into 3rd? Yep - that'd raise the RPM and lock up the seatbelts.

DURING AN ACCIDENT DRIVER SUSTAINED SEVERE HEAD TRAUMA DUE TO SPEAKERINSTALLED IN HEAD REST.

I guess the radio was a bit too loud.

DISTRIBUTOR CAP WIRES WORE OUT PREMATURELY.

This was in a 1992 Mazda Miata! And it failed in November, 1996!

VEHICLE RIDES ROUGHLY.

Yep - that's a major flaw. :)

DUNLOP TIRE FAILURE.

Too bad that goes as a black mark against Miata.

WHEN STARTING THE CAR THE ACCELERATOR WILL NOT ACCELERATE PROPERLY.

What do you suppose that means?

ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM WARNING LIGHTS ARE COMING ON INDICATING A FAILURE WHEN THERE IS NO PROBLEM.

How do they know?

FUEL GAUGE TAKES 30 MINUTES TO REGISTER FULL AFTER FILLING TANK.

Maybe, just maybe his watch is a tad fast?

WHEN APPLYING THE HYDRAULIC BRAKES IN WET WEATHER, THE PEDAL WENT TO THE FLOOR, AND BRAKES FAILED TO STOP THE VEHICLE.

I wonder if it skidded.

PROBLEM WITH SUNROOF.

Must have been the '95 "SR" Edition.

PURCHASED CAR NEW, WHEN DRIVING/STOPPED AND START BACK UP, THE TIRES SPINNED, BRIDGESTONE TIRES. PLEASE DESCRIBE.

I guess those Bridgestones are worse than we thought.

WHILE TRAVELING ON HIGHWAY @ 65 MPH, SMALL TRIANGULAR WINDOW EXPLODED, SHATTERING GLASS ACROSS DRIVER/COMPARTMENT.

I guess he removed the airbag and put it on his "small triangular window".

But it gets better. Much better! Here are a few more Mazda complaints.

WHEN DOORS ARE LOCKED THEY MAY STILL BE OPENED FROM THE INSIDE

Imagine what would the complaint have been if they *didn't* open?

BAD EXHAUST FUMES.

I wonder if it was the same guy that wrote the first one.

TRANSMISSION SMOKED AND FAILED.

Was that before or after sex?

WHILE OPENING TOP ROOF OF CAR, LFT LATCH HOLDING ROOF TO WINDSHIELD SNAPPED OPEN WITH GREAT FORCE, CATCHING MIDDLE FINGER, CRUSHED TIP/NAIL SEVERELY

That'll teach him to use his middle finger!

Here are a few from the RX-7 search:

BRAKES GIVE OFF MOANING SOUND FIRST SEVERAL MINUTES OF DRIVING.

I bet it was the same car whose transmission smoked and failed.

CLOCK FAILURE.

Yep - that's worthy of a complaint to the NHTSA!

CAR DRINKS OIL

These people have driver's licenses. Scary, isn't it?

AFTER PARKING VEHICLE, TRIED TO RESTART AND NOTHING HAPPENS, DEALER SAID DUE TO DESIGN OF SPARK PLUGS NEED TO BE REPLACED EVERY 2 WEEKS FOR PROPER FUNCTION.

Yep - Mazda dealers *do* sell RX-7s, too.

CHROME TRIM ON GAUGES REFLECTS IN SUNLIGHT, BLINDING DRIVER.

Maybe he should have gotten the Braille version.

SEAT BELT GETS CAUGHT IN DOOR WHEN DOOR IS CLOSED.

...and brain obviously gets caught as well.

TURBO FELL OUT PRIOR TO RECALL.

I *knew* superchargers were more reliable! :) (Just kidding - no flames please.)

SQUEAL UNDER HOOD OF VEHICLE.

There goes that squeaking, moaning car again...

BATTERY EXPLODED, CAUSING ELECTRICAL SYSTEM FAILURE, INCLUDING POWER DOOR LOCKS WHICH CAUSED DRIVER TO BE LOCKED INSIDE OF VEHICLE.

To bad this didn't happen to the guy who complained that he wasn't locked in.

TIRE BLEW OUT DUE TO ERROR IN ASSEMBLY.

Must have been a defective Johnson Rod in the tire.

SUNVISORS IN VEHICLE, WHEN IN USE, CAUSE VISION BLOCKAGE.

Imagine that? I wonder if a shroud over his head would have the same effect?

TURBO CHARGER CAUSED VEHICLE TO ACCELERATE AT A HIGH SPEED; REAR ENDED SPIND AND SLID; LOST CONTROL HITTING A WALL, IMPACT 1:00 AND AGAIN 5:00 POSITION.

Jeez! Damned Turbo chargers again! Someone ought to make those things slower! And twice in 4 hours?!?

VEHICLE DIES OR SHUTSDOWN WHEN DRIVING 40MPH OR HIGHER

How does he know it happens at higher than 40 if it shuts down at 40?

ENGINE FIRE ORIGINATED FROM THE AREA OF TURBO CHARGER INTO A FIRE.

What was it *before* it turned into a fire?

AFTER RECALL #95V069000 PERFORMED 9/94, OWNER NOTICED FUMES. ON 3/24/95 VEHICLE CAUGHT FIRE.

Maybe next time he'll wait a little *longer* to complain about the fumes! Darwin at work.

VEHICLE UNDERWEIGHT, CAUSING POOR STABILITY.

I guess they forgot to feed it at the factory.

Here are some from the search on Porsche complaints.

LEFT GAS CAP OFF AFTER FILLING TANK, GAS LEAKED AND SOAKED FRONT TIRE,CAUSING LOSS OF CONTROL.

I guess they figure they paid so much money, they shouldn't be able to leave the gas cap off.

AIR LEAKING FROM VALVE STEM CAUSED FLAT TIRE.

Not all Porsche owners are Rocket Scientists. Or something like that, right, Bill?

THE AIR BAG AND SEAT BELT LIGHTS COME ON AND WHEN THE LIGHT FOR THE AIRBAGS IS ON THE AIR BAGS IS DISABLED WHICH MEANS THE AIR BAGS AREN'T GOING TO WORK.

Like I said.

R/R ENGINE.

Would that be Rest and Relaxation?

ENGINE WARNING LIGHT FAILED.

You mean, it didn't come on when you were *certain* something was wrong?

Here's one from a Rolls Royce Silver Spur:

GEAR SHIFT LEVER POSITION DISPLAY FAILED, DRIVER HAS NO EASY WAY OF KNOWING WHICH GEAR.

Yeah, and what about the darkness indicator? How do we know if its night tim? Damned cars!

ACCELERATOR PEDAL STUCK WHILE IN REVERSE, HIT WIFE.

I'm laughing too hard to comment on this one! Also a Silver Spur.

I figured a search on Cadillac would yield some good ones:

SEAT BELT FASTENED TO DOOR HITS 5FT PASSENGER ON CHEEK, HITS 5FT 8INS PASSENGER ON NECK WHEN USED.

Where would it hit a 7'3" passenger?

SEATBELTS DEFECTIVE, NOT WORKING PROPERLY, ALSO WHEN DOOR OPENS IT JERKS AND HIT PERSON WITH ITS OPENING, INJURIES SUSTAINED.

I can see the headline - "84 year old man attacked by jerky seatbelt"

PROBLEM WITH LOCATION OF INTERIOR REAR VIEW MIRROR, PLACED IN A WAY AS TO MASK CAR TO THE RIGHT AT 4 WAY STOPS, SHOULD BE LOCATED NEAR TOP OF WINDSHIELD.

And where should it be located at 2 way stops? Traffic lights?

BOTH OUTSIDE REARVIEW MIRRORS VIBRATE.

Shoulda got me one of them Inn-terior ones. Wait - I heard they don't work either.

ELECTRICAL FIRE IN SEAT CONTROL UNIT.

Hence the term, "Hot Seat".

POWER DOOR LOCK ASSEMBLIES FAILED, CAUSING DOORS TO STICK IN LOCKED POSITION/UNABLE TO EXIT VEHICLE.

Ever own a Miata?

DEFECT IN SAFETY BELT DESIGN, IF DOOR OF VEHICLE OPENS WHILE VEHICLE INMOTION, THE PASSENGER IS LEFT TOTALLY UNRESTRAINED.

Jeez, I never thought of testing that. Can't be too careful.

OBJECTS ON MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR, ONE HAS TO GUESS DISTANCES OF CARS WHEN ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE LANES.

And then there's that Gary Larson monster...

AT STOP SIGNS WHEN MAKING A RIGHT TURN, VEHICLE WILL CONTINUE TURNING RIGHT UNLESS DRIVER CONSCIOUSLY APPLIES MOVEMENT OF STEERING WHEEL TO RETURN TO CENTER.

I wonder if his wife has to remind him to breathe. Or maybe he used to own a Silver Spur.

LUMINOUS OUTPUT OF FRONT DIGITAL DISPLAY SCREEN IS INADEQUATE WHEN HEAD LIGHTS ARE FUNCTIONING ONLY IN THE DAYLIGHT IN MIDWEST.

...but it works fine when I get to Texas.

FRONT SHOULDER STRAP COMES ACROSS DRIVER'S AND PASSENGER'S FACES.

So would that be the blind spot?

ENGINE FAILED TO START UNTIL COOLED DOWN.

So how the hell did it heat up in the first place?

INTERIOR LIGHTS FAIL TO SHUT OFF WHEN TURNED ON BY SWITCH.

I don't suppose you considered trying to turn them *off* by the switch instead?

DRIVER'S SEAT CANNOT WITHSTAND HEAVY LOADS.

Yes, well, what's your point?

LATCH CAUGHT LOCK/AUTOMATIC LOCKING DEVICE CLOSED TRUNK LID, TRAPPING DRIVER INSIDE TRUNK.

Please continue, Mrs. Hoffa...

BRAKES LOCKUP WHEN APPLIED IN SNOWY WEATHER.

And?

COMPUTER PROBLEMS.

Don't we all.

DURING SNOW STORMS, SNOW/ICE BUILDS UP ON WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADES, SPREADING ACROSS ENTIRE WINDSHIELD, CAUSING POOR VISIBILITY.

I hate it when that happens.

FUEL TANK DROPPED FROM VEHICLE, BREAKING STRAPS AND NUTS. LEAKING FUEL.

So, that would be a "jock" strap that broke, right?

COLOR ON DASH BOARD IS CHANGING COLORS.

Thank you for your report, Mr. Leary.

VEHICLE'S BRAKES ARE SQUEALING AND IF BRAKING HARD VEHICLE VILL PULL TOTHE RIGHT. BRAKES WERE MADE IN GERMANY.

Vill it really? And vhat did you say your name eez?

DEFECT IN FUEL SYSTEM, DOES NOT GET ADEQUATE FUEL MILEAGE

This is a Cadillac, remember?

COLD TEMPERATURE AND HOT AIR CONTROL SIGNALS FAILED.

Speaking of hot air...

PROBLEM WITH IGNITION SYSTEM, TAKES 3 TO 7 STARTS BEFORE ENGINE WOULDFINALLY START.

So let me get this straight - you started it 3 to 7 times before you started it? Is that it?

O RING OR SEAL HAD PIN HOLE IN IT, CAUSING SLIGHT LEAK

Yeah, but was it below freezing?

BRAKE PULSATION EXPERIENCED, VERY HARD BRAKE PEDAL PRESSURE NEEDED ON BRAKE PEDAL TO STOP

Sounds like bad ABS to me.

4 CLOSE CALLS DUE TO CO LEAKING INTO CAR AND PUTTING DRIVER TO SLEEP

Well, maybe you'll be luckier on the 5th attempt.

GAS TANK LOCATION INCONVENIENT

and so is the toilet tank!

BODY PROBLEMS.

Yeah, but what about the car?

And some more Cadillac complaints...

DIFFICULT SEEING TRAFFIC DUE TO LARGE HEADRESTS

Next time try driving from the front seat.

CRUISE CONTROL LEVER WAS FOCUSED ON "ON" POSITION ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT PUT ON THAT DAY; REMAINED SO FROM A PREVIOUS DAY.

Not only that, the car was in the same spot that I last parked it.

CAR SURGES FORWARD AT STOP SIGNS

but never at lights.

VEHICLE SEIZED WHILE DRIVING THE VEHICLE ON THE HIGHWAY.

Was it state troopers that seized it?

THUMPING NOISE IN REAR END.

Really? What did you eat for breakfast?

REAR DOOR SUSTAINED UNREASONABLE DAMAGE IN MINOR ACCIDENT

And your point is?

ENGINE TEMPERATURE GAUGE FAILED TO ALERT DRIVER, DURING FIRE.

Actually sir, you should have stayed and watched the gauge a bit longer.

GASOLINE FUMES ARE COMING IN THE A/C VENT DUCTS. OPERATORS ARE SUFFERING WITH SYMPTOMS OF LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO GASOLINE FUMES.

One of the symptoms is excessive insane complaints to the NHTSB.

DRIVEN FOR AN HOUR, VEHICLE WAS STOPPED MEDIUM HARD AND BOTH REAR WHEELS LOCKED UP AND REQUIRED TOWING. 2 OCCURRENCES, DEALER REPLACED SHOES.

So you really mean it required walking.

SEARS BATTERY CAUSES VEHICLE TO LOOSE GAS MILEAGE. EVEN WHEN THE COMPUTERS BEEN RESET.

And what would you like *us* to do about that?

DRIVER FEELS MOVEMENT OF TIRES POOR STABILITY. DEALER STATES TIRES ARE WAVING.

There must be an English translation of this someplace.

LOOKED LIKE WHITE STEAM COMING FROM UNDER THE HOOD THEN TURN INTO BLACK SMOKE.

So we had to vote again down at the Vatican.

DRIVING ON OUTER CIRCLE OF BALTIMORE BELTWAY 695, AS GOING UP THIS INCLINE, VEHICLE ACCELERATED TO 72 MPH; STOPPED VEHICLE BY PRESSING HARD ON BRAKES

And we commend you on having the presence of mind to use the breaks to slow down.

CENTER ARM REST FAILED.

And my arm went crashing to the road!

VEHICLE SECURITY SYSTEM DOES NOT ALLOW CAR TO START.

Submitted by #983562, Leavenworth, KS.

VEHICLE PULLS TO THE RIGHT, CHANGED TIRES/WHEEL ALIGHMENT TWICE, 6 ATTEMPTS TO REPAIR TO NO AVAIL, DEALER SAID CAR IS DESIGNED TO STEER TO THE RIGHT.

That's not a bug, its a feature...

HORN DOES WORK, HAVE REPLACED THE HORN ONCE.

Try replacing it a few more times. Its bound to fail.

DRIVER'S EXTERIOR REAR VIEW MIRROR IS ANGLED UPWARD, IMPAIRING VISIBILITY.

And then there was the guy who didn't know his Miata hardtop was removable!

EXHAUST SYSTEM SEEMS TO BE FILTERING FUMES INSIDE COMPARTMENT INSTEAD OF OUTSIDE; SMELL OF ROTTEN EGGS; OCCUPANTS FEEL HEADACHES/DIZZINESS/STOMACH CRAMPS

Rotten eggs? Obviously you were the last one in!

CARBON MONOXIDE ENTERS INTO INTERIOR OF VEHICLE WHILE DRIVING; POSSIBLY COMING FROM TRUCK AREA.

I know because a Carbon Monoxide detector went off over at the truckstop!

THERE IS NO CONSIDERATION IN THE DESIGN IN THE WINDOWS IT CRUSHES WHAT EVER COMES BETWEEN THE WINDOW AND THE DOOR.

And those same inconsiderate SOBs designed tires that crush whatever comes between it and the road!

And the list goes on and on and on...


Copyright 1997, Eunos Communications